The Avoidable Crisis articles

Stanley Forman: 40 Years After the Soiling of Old Glory

Stanley Forman: 40 Years After the Soiling of Old Glory

The photo was chilling. Before a crowd of onlookers, a white man appears to be attempting to stab a black man with the tip of a flagpole. “It really showed racism,” said photographer Stanley Forman 40 years after he took the Pulitzer Prize-winning snapshot of an anti-busing protest that had turned violent. “It was whites

Timeline: The chain of events that brought chaos to Boston’s Schools

Photos:, Pulitzer Prize 1977, “The Soiling of Old Glory” The Decision (1954–1974) On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Brown v. Board of Education that segregated schools were unconstitutional. On May 31, 1955, the U.S. Supreme Court raised the urgency of desegregation in the Brown II ruling by ordering that

Jerome Winegar: The rise and fall of South Boston High School

Jerome C. Winegar sat at his desk in St. Paul, Minnesota when his phone rang. He was weeks away from taking over as headmaster of South Boston High School. It was Federal Judge W. Arthur Garrity, and he had specific instructions for Winegar. “Mr. Winegar, I don’t care, whatever you say you need. I’m going

Charles Willie: A life’s work tearing apart educational inequity, starting in Boston

Charles Willie stepped into the crowded city bus, paid his fare and walked past all the white people in the front. It was 1943 in Dallas and Willie had to make his way to the back of the bus with the rest of the black passengers. Dressed in peg-leg trousers, high-top shoes and a straw

Raymond Flynn: The South Boston insider who struggled to keep his alma mater open and ascended to political prominence

During four days of violence in October 1979, bands of boycotting high school students roamed the streets of Downtown Crossing, attacking and intimidating black workers and students. One of the groups had just chased away some black youths near the Common. Two black teens, Allen Moore, 19, and Denise Smith, 16, were having lunch nearby

Nathalie Hills: The Charlestown High Student who became responsible for her own education

Photo: InSaphoWeTrust Nathalie Hills sat on a cold bus seat bound for Charlestown High School in fall of 1979. The bus crossed over the Charlestown Bridge, revealing a crowd that had gathered to greet the students from the South End. Boston Police officers formed a protective barrier around the bus. Parents and children lined the

Theodore Landsmark: The beating that turned a son of Harlem into a prominent voice that led Boston out of the busing era

Photo:, Pulitzer Prize 1977, “The Soiling of Old Glory” Theodore Landsmark was used to being the only black person in the room by the time he was an undergraduate at Yale University’s Davenport College in the winter of 1968. But he was unprepared to confront the blatant racism he heard in a seminar room.

The Project: About The Avoidable Crisis

Photo:, Pulitzer Prize 1977, “The Soiling of Old Glory” The Avoidable Crisis is a project conducted by the Emerson College Journalism Department. Three journalism students, one recent graduate and two faculty members researched Boston’s busing crisis during Summer 2014. Over a three month period, the team examined 5,000 documents, including articles, books and reports.